Written by Rebecca GrahamRebecca Graham is BestCompany's expert on home loans and cell phones, empowering readers to make the best financial decisions based on data and research. Rebecca unplugs from consumer culture on occasion to hike with her family.
Survival accounts throughout history demonstrate that in a true emergency most individuals are willing to consume any food available, whether that’s unfiltered stream water, slugs, or leather. Vegans, people who don’t eat or use animal products of any kind, are no exception.
But if you’re a vegan prepper, it makes sense to incorporate food storage that fits with your ideal health and moral lifestyle. Whether or not you end up facing dire straits, you can rotate your food storage inventory in regular meals or on a camping trip.
Here are ten delicious, nutritious, vegan-friendly foods to consider storing. If you prep for emergencies with your nutritional needs and taste preferences in mind, you’ll be ahead of the game when the unexpected happens — and if it never does, your food won’t go to waste because you’ll want to eat it anyway!
This hearty, nutty grain can keep for up to eight years if stored in a cool, dry place in a proper container with oxygen absorbers. Quinoa contains essential amino acids found in meat and sometimes lacking in a vegetarian or vegan diet. Plus, it takes only 15-20 minutes to cook. For an easy meal, cook quinoa in vegetable stock, then add some salt, pepper, olive oil, and tomatoes from your garden.
Oats are extremely versatile. They can be ground into flour or made into milk. Whole raw oat groats can be grown as sprouts for homesteading purposes. Plus, oats are cheap and can keep for up to 30 years if packed and stored well. Nutritionally speaking, steel-cut oats are high in fiber, protein, and vitamins. To incorporate oats into your daily meals, cook them on your stove and throw in some freeze-dried blueberries and honey.
3. Nut butter
Nuts and seeds contain essential protein and fat and nut butters like peanut butter, almond, butter, and cashew butter are delicious sources. Nut butters generally stay good in your pantry for 6-9 months but it depends on the brand. You can also buy nut butters in individual packets, which are perfect for emergency packs or on-the-go snacks. It tastes best on something, so keep ingredients to make bread or store crackers to snack along with it.
Among the oldest of crops grown, lentils are legumes that are rich in iron, folate, and Vitamin B6. Though taste quality and nutritional value decrease after a couple of years, legumes can be safe to eat after a decade of proper storage. Lentils add flavor and texture to soups and salads, can be eaten plain with olive oil and spices, or be made into veggie burgers.
Dried young coconut is high in fiber, carbohydrates, and sugar (all-natural coconut sugar). It lasts about one year unopened, so its shelf life is not as robust as that of dehydrated or freeze-dried products. However, this is a fruit snack that probably won’t last that long in your pantry anyway because it tastes so good — especially if you buy the Philippine brand!
Pineapple is a rich source of fiber, vitamins, enzymes, and antioxidants. This tropical fruit is bright in color and in flavor and is surprisingly good freeze-dried. The freeze-dried pineapple chunks sold by Augason Farms has a shelf life of 25 years. You can eat chunks plain as a snack, include in a trail mix, or add to smoothies, cereals, desserts, and salads.
7. Bell peppers
We’ve got to include vegetables somewhere on the list, right? Even your veggie-avoidant friends can enjoy freeze-dried green bell peppers in salsa, casseroles, or bean dips. Emergency Essentials’ freeze-dried green bell peppers retain Vitamin C and the peppers’ bright color, flavor, and texture and stay good for 25 years.
8. Potato flakes
One of the most convenient food storage products available, dried potato flakes can transform into an instant side dish of mashed potatoes by rehydrating with boiling water for 30 seconds. Potato flakes work well for long-term storage (10-15 year shelf life) but also for a vegan Thanksgiving dish. You can even use the flakes in some bread recipes.
9. Rice milk
In unopened, non-refrigerated packaging, this easily-digestible, dairy alternative made from brown rice generally keeps for one year. While it is more expensive than soy or rice milk powders, rice milk is ready to drink, not requiring additional water. Plus, you can buy it in lunchbox-size packaging to easily take on-the-go.
10. Oriental ramen
Our list wouldn’t be complete without the ultimate convenience food for preppers and non-preppers alike: ramen noodles. This grain is cheap, flavor-packed, and non-perishable! Just make sure to get the oriental flavor, as the seasoning packets in the chicken and beef flavors are not vegan.